Orthodox organizations: 'Senseless murder of our fellow Jews'

OU, RCA, and Agudath Israel of America express deep sympathy to families of those who lost their lives in the Pittsburgh shooting.

Yoni Kempinski,

Scene of the shooting
Scene of the shooting

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and the Rabbinical Council of America expressed their deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives in the horrific murders that took place during Shabbat services at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh.

"We pray for the speedy recovery of those injured in the shooting", the organizations wrote in a joint decleration, "including the brave police officers who rushed directly into the active crime scene."

“This senseless act of anti-Semitic violence was not only an egregious attack on the Jewish community, but an attack on the very foundations of civil society and our collective democratic values,” said Allen Fagin, the Orthodox Union’s executive vice president.

“Our hearts break for the senseless murder of our fellow Jews and all victims of vicious hate crimes,” said Moishe Bane, president of the Orthodox Union. “We condemn the dangerous rhetoric that foments such senseless violence and we stand with the Tree of Life Congregation and the whole Pittsburgh community at this terrible time."

"We live in contentious times, when fringe elements of society have become emboldened by speech which is often disrespectful and hateful," said Rabbi Elazar Muskin, president of the Rabbinical Council of America. "As a nation, committed to the freedom and rights of all, we must commit to reach out not only to those who are like us – but especially as our sacred Torah has taught us – to those with whom we disagree."

“One of the greatest privileges of those who are fortunate to be citizens of the United States is the freedom to worship as we believe and to live in safety and security. We need to come together as a nation to protect these precious gifts for all members of all faiths," said Rabbi Mark Dratch, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America.

Agudath Israel of America defined the shooting as "is a horrific tragedy and an outrage". "Our deepest sympathies go out to the mourning families and friends of the victims who were targeted because they were Jews", the organization wrote in an offical decleration, "We extend our deepest gratitude to the law enforcement personnel who arrived at the scene and captured the murderer. We also thank law enforcement across the country who are ramping up security measures around houses of worship".

"There are simply no words of condemnation that can truly express our anguish and disgust at the perpetrator of this hate-fueled act or others like it. Any platform or group, including those on social media, that serves to stir up and metastasize bigotry and anti-Semitic hatred, needs to be called out and shut down for incitement of violence. Until all Americans confront the horror of anti-Semitism head on, our great Democracy will not have achieved its promise".

"May those who were injured in today's senseless violence have a speedy and complete recovery from their wounds".

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) condemned the massacre as well: "Needless to say, this act must be denounced in the harshest possible terms by all decent people of all faiths. We mourn all those who were killed today, and extend our prayers to their families and all who loved them. We wish a speedy recovery to all who were injured, including police who came to protect the innocent, and a healing to all Jews and all Americans".